Six-Plus Weeks Of River Cruising, Plus Viking Star & Silver Wind On Live Voyage Reports

Six-Plus Weeks Of River Cruising, Plus Viking Star & Silver Wind On Live Voyage Reports

Six-Plus Weeks Of River Cruising, Plus Viking Star & Silver Wind On Live Voyage Reports

Aaron Saunders (left) and Ralph Grizzle (tall) in Porto, Portugal aboard Viking Hemming, cruising the Douro River. We'll be reporting in April and May from a series of river cruises in Europe and two ocean cruises.

Now through the middle of May, Aaron Saunders and I will be reporting from Europe, live from four river cruises, and two ocean cruises, one on the new Viking Star and the other on Silver Wind.

Aaron is already in Amsterdam, ready to cover the naming of 12 Viking Longships. That's right, a dozen new Longships. See his preview on River Cruise Advisor, Live Voyage Preview: The 2015 Viking Longship Christening Ceremonies

Next week, I'll fly to Nantes, France to paddlewheel along the beautiful Loire River. Because of its shallow waters, the Loire has never before been accessible by a river cruise vessel with staterooms designed for overnight stays. In other words, I'm going river cruising on a first-ever itinerary on a one-of-a-kind vessel, CroisiEurope's Loire Princesse.

While I'm nibbling on croissants in Nantes, Aaron heads to Muscat, Oman to cruise on Silver Wind all the way to Piraeus, Greece. Look for his reports here on Avid Cruiser. I did a similar cruise a few years ago on Silver Spirit. See my report.

On April 15, I'll be on board the new Scenic Jasper. Our seven-day cruise begins in Budapest and ends in Vienna. Scenic is professing to be "Regent" of the rivers. Like Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Scenic includes it all, including gratuities on board and ashore. The so-called "Space-Ships" even feature butler service for all levels of accommodations. See Scenic Jasper's deck plans.

After that, I take a brief hiatus from river cruising to sail on Viking's new Viking Star. I board in Barcelona on May 2 and step off in Lisbon on May 8. I'll cover the preview voyage, and Aaron will cover the naming event in Bergen on May 17. While he's observing the festivities in Norway, I'll be stepping of Uniworld's new S.S. Maria Theresa on a voyage from Amsterdam to Budapest. Check out First Look: Uniworld’s new S.S. Maria Theresa.

You'll find a link to our river cruise calendar here and a link to our ocean cruise reports here.

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Six Tips To Extract More Joy From Your Cruise

In this free special report, I’ve put together a half dozen actionable items that can make the difference between cruise vacations that are memorable and others that fail to measure up to all you had hoped they would be. I’ve cruised on hundreds of ships, as a solo traveler and with family and friends.  — Ralph Grizzle, The Avid Cruiser

Click to download the report.

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Chateauneuf du Pape

Shore Excursions From Marseille: Nectar Of The Pope's, Chateauneuf du Pape

The impressive Pope's Palace wasn't the only thing the pope's left behind in Avignon. They also left behind a legacy of an internationally acclaimed wine, and no trip to Avignon would be complete without a taste, or two, of Chateauneuf du Pape, or basically, the Pope's wine. We have the pope's to thank for the wonderful wine. When they established …

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Avid Cruiser Podcast: John Delaney Discusses Seabourn's UNESCO Partnership, The Forthcoming Seabourn Encore, Antarctica & More

Avid Cruiser Podcast: John Delaney Discusses Seabourn's UNESCO Partnership, The Forthcoming Seabourn Encore, Antarctica & More

In this audio podcast, I interview John Delaney, senior vice president, marketing and sales for Seabourn. Delaney spearheaded the company’s efforts to form a partnership with UNESCO. In 2011, he was invited to participate in an Expert Meeting at Sils/Engadine, Switzerland, which resulted in the development of the World Heritage Sustainable Tourism Program. Seabourn was one of a few participants from …

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Auberge de la Treille

Shore Excursions From Marseille: French Cuisine At Auberge de la Treille

You wouldn’t want to visit Provence without enjoying some of the best culinary experiences that the region has to offer. There are lots of places to do that in and around Avignon, but we found a special place not far from the Pope’s Palace and Avignon’s other attractions. The Auberge de la Treille was like an oasis with fine food …

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Crystal's Edie Rodriguez Talks New Ships, World Cruises & Short-Term Cruise Opportunities

Crystal's Edie Rodriguez Talks New Ships, World Cruises & Short-Term Cruise Opportunities

I last interviewed Edie Rodriguez, president of Crystal Cruises, during my April 2014 voyage on Crystal Serenity. On that sailing, I discovered Crystal Serenity’s Modern Cuisine as well as Crystal Serenity’s Tastes, which Edie talks about in this podcast. A lot has changed since then. Crystal will soon have new owners, and a new ship (see Breaking News: Crystal Cruises To Get New Owners, New …

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